Want Amazing NYC Views? Get The Roosevelt Island Tram

You’d be forgiven for never having visited Roosevelt Island. It doesn’t really feature on the New York Top 10 hit list and that’s because, well, it’s just not that exciting. Sorry Roosevelt Island.  But the Tram? Now that’s a different story. 

Who doesn’t want to glide effortlessly over the East River, suspended in a cabin 250ft in the air, with unparalleled views of the city? 

What *exactly* is the Roosevelt Island Tram?

If you’ve never heard of the Roosevelt Island Tramway, let’s get you up to speed. Built in 1976, it was the world’s first commuter aerial tramway. It connected Roosevelt Island to Manhattan before the subway stopped there. 

These aren’t your poxy little ski gondolas that whizz up and down The Alps. These two enormous cable cars mean business. Each cabin can hold 125 passengers.

They make 115 trips a day, operating in all conditions

Roosevelt Island Tram

They shuttle back and forth from East 60th Street and 2nd Avenue on Manhattan to West Road right in the middle of Roosevelt Island. The tram runs every seven minutes from 6am to 2am and carries around 2.7million passengers every year. 

It’s a very efficient way of getting to Roosevelt Island but look, that’s not why we love it.

Hop on simply for the 360 degree view of the city from the comfort of a cozy carriage


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As you gain height over the East River, you have a perfect outlook down towards Lower Manhattan.  Looking back towards Manhattan, the cable car lines up with East 60th giving you a glimpse into the bottom of Central Park.

From the highest point, you can see over towards Williamsburg and Dumbo in Brooklyn and even as far out as Staten Island and the Verrazano Narrows. 

Apparently, TV and movie producers often rent out the Roosevelt Island Tram to get unparalleled shots of the city. 

So it’s basically the same as a sunset helicopter ride over the city – but it costs $2.75 rather than $350. Perfection. 

Helen Tarver

Helen is a writer originally from London who now lives in NYC on the incomparable Upper West (Best) Side. She loves everything about New York but especially bagels, autumn in Central Park and Joe's Pizza. Helen spends her free time walking, travelling, exploring and eating.

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